Saturday, 27 February 2021

FROM OLE-FOWL TO BIRDNAPPER

 


I was thinking this morning...... Last Friday, while everyone was talking about the kidnapping of the 317 school girls in Jangebe, Zamfara state, I read a report that Lady Gaga’s father has spoken out about the dognapping of his daughter's two French bulldogs, Koji and Gustavo, who were stolen at gunpoint. “We’re just sick over it, it’s really horrible,” Joe Germanotta told The New York Post. “It’s like someone took one of your kids.” You may be wondering what 'dognapping' means. It's an adaptation of the word kidnapping. Since it was a dog and not a person that was abducted, it is dognapping. I thought it was a word he just made up until I checked the dictionary and found that to dognap means to steal (a dog), especially in order to sell it. So, someone that steals a dog is called a dognapper. Hmm!! Na wa for oyibo people!


I have learnt a new word. But, if we have the template for naming stealing of animals, why then are we doing something different in Nigeria? If you have been following the news on the security situation in Nigeria particularly in the North, you would've read that large scale stealing of cows is one of the root causes of banditry. That I will not argue, but what I don't understand is why stealing of cows is called 'Cattle rustling.' Going by the oyibo template, it should be called 'Cownapping.' Abi beko?

Even those of us in Warri those days no know book. Chai! Our ignorance was legendary. If we were literate enough, we would've learnt from oyibo people that when a hawk steals a chicken and flies away with it, you don't call the hawk 'Ole-fowl,' the correct term should be 'Birdnapper' or 'Chickennapper' or if you want to go local 'Fowlnapper.' Warri!!!

I continued thinking. When someone steals a fish from a fish pond, it is 'Fishnapping.' I once saw a ram roaming around my compound and had to report it. Thank God I did because someone would've eyed me askance thinking I am a 'Ramnapper.'

We can safely conclude that the Nigeria of today is suffering from the menace of kidnapping. But there is also Cownapping from the North and Birdnapping from the air. One assault we still need to investigate is that of 'Fishnapping' from the sea, because the rate at which fishes have disappeared from the shallow waters is really a cause for concern.

Kidnapping, Dognapping, Goatnapping, Cownapping and all ...nappings including Fishnapping from your mother's pot are vices and the Bible says all ...nappers like other sinners will go to hell (Revelation 21:8). Stay away from any form of ..napping.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 20 February 2021

A Sickening choice


I was thinking this morning..... as my Uber ride left the MM2 terminal towards Lagos Island, I settled into the back seat of the sedan car scanning the environment for what may have changed since I left. As we drove past EKO Hospital along Mobolaji Bank Anthony way, Opebi, I pondered on the legacy of this great hospital owned by Eneli, Kuku and Obiorah (from which this word EKO was derived). About 30 minutes later, we were driving past Eko Hotel at Victoria Island and memories flooded my space. I remembered the pre-Covid world when I spent so many days in a year at Eko Hotel for one business or another. Chai! I miss the pre-Covid era.


It occurred to me that since the Covid pandemic was declared, the trend of patronage of EKO Hotel and EKO Hospital had reversed. A lot more people were now sleeping at EKO Hospital than EKO Hotel. As I pondered on both facilities, I surmised that it is true that EKO Hospital and Eko Hotel both have nice beds but I would rather sleep at EKO Hotel than EKO Hospital. I don't know about you.

My trip ended with that conclusion. But doubts started setting in when news broke that about 4.5 million Texans were suffering power outage for days due to severe winter storm. A second story followed 'Americans queue to fetch water after winter storm causes shortages.' Then I thought, first power outage and now queuing up to fetch water? Is there an American village in Nigeria or is there a Nigerian city in USA? I was almost concluding that 'if NEPA dey take light for America and dem dey queue for water like Nigeria, then maybe it is better to stay in Nigeria. My thought had hardly landed when news broke that bandits had attack a school in Kagara, Niger state and abducted so many children and our Defence Minister's response was that Nigerians should resist the AK47 and RPG carrying bandits. With what? Sticks? Choi! I shook my head and concluded that yes, 'EKO Hospital and Eko Hotel both have nice beds but I would rather sleep at EKO Hotel than EKO Hospital.'

Please understand that I am not judging those that circumstances of life had forced to sleep at EKO Hospital bed, I am focusing on the choices we make. I had read of a man walking by a shop and saw a pair of clutches. He loved it so much that he deliberately broke his leg so he could use the beautiful clutches. Crazy, right? Many crave for power so much but can't wait for God's time. So they shoot themselves on the foot by choosing to join secret cults. How can you choose to sleep at EKO Hospital because you can't wait for the right opportunity to sleep at EKO Hotel?

Deuteronomy 30:19 'I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.' Choose wisely today.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 13 February 2021

WHO KNOWS TUMOLO?

 


I was thinking this morning..... about Tumolo. When I first saw the words 'WHO KNOWS TUMOLO' written boldly on the front windscreen of the bus, I didn't know what to think, but I had to think anyway. I wondered, who is Tumolo? Is he a missing child? May be he is the youngest billionaire in Nigeria o. With so many questions but no answer, I had to turn to Google. 'Who is Tumolo?' I typed in. Google gave me two answers, Michelle Tumolo, an American women’s lacrosse coach and former player and Paul Tumolo, the director of new initiatives at the Boston Consortium for Higher Education. When I realised that it is extremely unlikely that a local African will have anything to do with these American Tumolos, I looked again at the inscription. Oh my God! I get it now. It was a grammatical error, what he was asking was 'Who Knows Tomorrow?'


As I turned to AIT 'Kakaaki' last Wednesday, I heard the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclose that nothing was wrong in granting amnesty to Boko Haram terrorists and bandits. He made the comments in response to heavy criticism of the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, for granting amnesty to bandits who once terrorised the North-West state. How can you grant amnesty to murderous BH? Na wa o! If you complain, you will be reminded that amnesty was granted Niger Delta militants, and that criminals today can become good citizens tomorrow. Afterall, 'who knows Tompolo?' Sorry 'Who knows Tumolo?'

I kept following the news in the political landscape and saw how one of the most vociferous critic of PMB and the APC government, the loud mouthed Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) met with some APC governors. While speculations were rife that he was about to jump ship and join the APC, I marvelled. Who would've thought that FFK will ever consider rejoining the APC, which he had once called out as demonic and blood sucking. He had said in Dec 2019 'With what we have witnessed, I would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Congress (APC).' Choi! Today what are we seeing? Life ehn. True true, Who Knows Tumolo?

Politicians are fickle and only loyal to their pockets and selfish interests. Fight for them at your peril. On individual level, be careful what you say today, because it might hurt you tomorrow. And for those who think they own this world, I admonish you not to boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring (Proverbs 27:1). Afterall, no one knows Tumolo.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 6 February 2021

ONCE BEATEN, TWICE SHALL

 


I was thinking this morning.... Driving on Nigeria roads and taking notice of inscriptions on vehicles is a stress relieving habit I picked up years ago. The messages can range from absolutely amusing to downright ridiculous, but there are many that are very educative if you care to ponder on them. One of such was the inscription on a danfo that reads 'Once Beaten, Twice Shall.' This is a street version of the idiom 'once bitten, twice shy,' used to mean that a person who has failed or been hurt when trying to do something is careful or fearful about doing it again. While many will laugh off the grammatical error of the danfo driver, I cannot agree less with the man for a fantastic message.

'Once beaten, twice shall.' Yes o. You cannot be a Nigerian and live by the mantra 'Once bitten, twice shy.' If you do, you go sokpa, meaning you will suffer. The only way to survive in Nigeria is to live by the saying of the danfo driver, 'Once beaten, twice shall.' The more our leaders fail us, the more we forge on.

Between 2000 and 2007, there was massive investment in Nigeria stock market. We bought shares of both quoted and unquoted companies and watched the value appreciate. Suddenly, in early 2008, there was an unprecedented crash of the market, throwing the equity market into crisis. There was blood on the streets. I, like many others, lost so much blood and almost became financially anaemic. Many were placed on 'blood tonic' to stay alive. We were still recovering in 2009, when the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was launched. Though, it was worth $0 when it was introduced to the market, many of us adopted the 'once bitten, twice shy' position, and stayed off. But a few were bold enough to invest. Today, 12 years later, one bitcoin is worth over $38,000 (N18 million). Chai!!! How I wish I had said 'Once beaten, twice shall' and bought 100 bitcoin, I would have been worth N1.8 billion today. (Not minding the demonic move by CBN).

Many times, we all adopt seemingly safe 'once bitten, twice shy' stance but it is time to change gear and move to 'once beaten, twice shall.' If circumstances of life beat you down, rise up with double determination to succeed. If man disappoints you, look beyond man and look to God because Micah 7:8 says 'Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again.' Afterall 'once beaten, twice shall.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 30 January 2021

OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEM (OPP)

 


I was thinking this morning..... as I strolled towards the back of my compound that evening, I suddenly noticed an owl which we called 'okpukpuru' in Warri, perched facing my direction, on the roof of the building behind mine. My first instinct was to gather everyone in the neighbourhood to boo the bird. 'Why would I do that?' Please, don't judge me. That's what we did growing up in the Ogboru neighbourhood of Warri. When we see an okpukpuru in our neighbourhood, it is believed a witch has come to spy on us. So children and adults will gather as close as possible and start shouting 'whoooo!!! We see you. Winch! Winch!' We keep shouting until the bird flies off.

On the flip side, when we see cattle egrets, which we called lekeleke, flying past in V-formation, kids will gather shouting 'lekeleke bamboo, give me water finger.' I was thinking, why would the kids curse one bird and praise another? I have absolutely no idea why or when it started, we just did what others did. What has the owl done wrong? Is it because of its looks? Or is it because a group of owls is called a Parliament, therefore we treat them like Nigerian parliamentarians that we believe nothing good can come out of?

It got me thinking about how some persons by their physical appearance and innate behaviour are judged. You see someone that is very fair to look upon. He or she is loved by everyone and has many friends. But there are those that are fearfully and wonderfully made. Some call them 'atutupoyoyo.' These ones are like the owls, who have to go all out to make friends. They crave the love of everyone but hardly gets it.

Two lessons I learnt from my childhood experience in Warri were that it is wrong to judge or hate someone just by the way God made them and that a member of a family or tribe was once used by the devil does not mean everyone of them is a devil. It is called demonisation. Also, allowing yourself to be recruited by someone to hate another person who hasn't wronged you is pure witchcraft and we must do everything to avoid it.

Life as it is, is tough for many, so let's not inherit enemies or continue with traditions and old fables that broke the spirit but let us behave like the Berean Christians who were more noble minded (Acts 17:11). Don't gang up with others to hate someone nor be used as a weapon in other people's battles. Do you treat people like okpukpuru or lekeleke?

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Eventually, They all Leave

 


I was thinking this morning..... I was chilling days ago when my phone rang. I picked it up and it was my dad. 'D'aba.' I greeted in Itsekiri. He responded and then said 'My friend, chief N.U. just died this morning.' 'Oh no!' I exclaimed and commiserated with him for the loss of his friend of over 40 years. My dad who is in his mid eighties has watched a number of his friends departed in the last one year, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how everyone we travel with in the journey of life eventually drops off.

We meet different passengers at different times in this journey of life. First, you find yourself in the same vehicle with your parents and siblings. There is so much love and joy in the vehicle, you will think you all will travel together forever. About 20 years down the line, as children become adults, everyone starts alighting to join another vehicle (start their families) towards their destination. You would have to continue the journey with other passengers.

Next, you joined the career vehicle and made new friends who continue the journey with you. You will be blessed to have a colleague like Florence Ekeocha, who we called Mama Flo. Friendly, loving and helpful. Why can't we just enjoy this camaraderie for 100 years? No. It doesn't work that way. We were hit hard last Friday, when we heard that Mama Flo had suddenly departed. 'But why?' We shouted in disbelief. 'Such is life' was the soft response. Others, 35 years later or when they turn 60, will have to retire. One by one, your pals that had turned brothers retire to settle in different cities and villages away from you. Life! Eventually, they all leave.

When you eventually retire to your country home, you make new friends among the retirees around and will be blessed to have some of your old friends from work retire with you in the same village or city. You thought this would be it, they will stay with you forever. But then, they start answering the eternal call. One by one, they depart.

Hmm! In this journey of life, there is most likely one passenger that will be with you most of the way. Your spouse. Many are blessed to marry early and stay married like Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who have been married for more than 70 years. Wow! The irony is that some make the mistake of investing their time and love on short term relationships at the expense of that which will last for 80 years (spouse), if Jesus tarries. But the biggest mistake will be to invest in relationships that will last a lifetime and ignore that which will last for eternity. Proverbs 18:24 'A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.'

Family, colleagues, friends, spouse and God: Invest in all relationships but do so in the right proportion based on their longevity because on the long run they will all depart except God.

Happy Sunday. Farewell Mama Flo!

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 16 January 2021

The Armed Forces Pigeon Mentality

 


I was thinking this morning..... Last Friday, during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony at the National Arcade, Abuja, the doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by President Muhammadu Buhari, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by the President. The President had opened the birdcage, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.


Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof. The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Do you blame the poor pigeons? They have been deprived for so long until recently when they had to prepare them for the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. Suddenly, they cared for them, fed them like never before. Now you want them to just fly away and miss out on all the enjoyment abi? 'We go nowhere. We die here,' I can imagine the birds saying.

But isn't that the mentality of a typical Nigerian politician? An unknown Nigerian with no pedigree having been beaten and battered joins politics and was lucky after so many years to become a senator or Minister. Suddenly, Nigerians say he has failed woefully and brought embarrassment to the government. 'Resign and fly,' we say. Resign ke? Usai! Like the Armed Forces Remembrance Day pigeons, they will say 'I go nowhere. I die here.'

This mentality seems to have infected the civil servants working with politicians. I heard of a Nigerian Head of Department (HOD) that has been on the same job for several years without promotion. One day, a new minister was appointed and saw the challenge of this HOD and decided to promote him to become a Permanent Secretary (PS). A great opportunity for the man to fly. Instead, to the chagrin of the Minister, the HOD declined the promotion. Investigation revealed that the benefits from backhand deals being enjoyed as HOD will be lost when he becomes PS. Therefore he behaved like the pigeons saying 'I go nowhere. I die here.'

I worry not whether those that trouble us refuse to move or fly away for us to have peace, one day they will fly away by force. Psalms 104:7 says 'At Your rebuke they fled, At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.'

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Who is your Daddy?

 


I was thinking this morning...... about paternity fraud with the scandal involving FCMB MD dominating the social media discussions in the last couple of weeks. Paternity fraud is the pretence that a father is the legitimate and biological father of a child. According to information scooped from Wikipedia, Jamaica has the highest rate of paternity fraud in the world at 34.6%, closely followed by Nigeria with 30%. Omo, that means for every 10 children in Nigeria, 3 are not born of the man they call daddy or popsy. Hian!!!

As most people passed emotional judgement and declared the FCMB MD and the former employee guilty when they saw photos of the children in question, I was thinking about how widespread this paternity fraud is. Truth is, when a child has striking physical resemblance to a parent, there will be no need to ask 'who is your dad?' But when there are no physical features to tell who the dad is, they resort to DNA test. This scam no be today.

At the national level, when countries like Nigeria that claim to be born of established democratic nations like the UK and have democratic structures like USA, but suppress the will of the people through rigging and violence during elections, it is nothing but 'democratic paternity fraud.' But what do we call a father of democracy like the USA whose behaviour (Capitol insurrection) misses the mark? Father of Democracy Fraud? We used to ask, 'who Nigeria resemble?' Now we know.

At individual level, you claim to be a child of God but yet involved in shady deals and lie like a cheap rug. Abeg, na who be your papa? Behaving contrary to the God whose child you say you are is nothing but 'Divine Paternity Fraud.'

To me, physical attributes or DNA test are not the most important indicators of paternity. An adopted child that lives the values and the tenets of the father, is more of a child than a biological child that brings shame to the father. Doing the will of the father is the true evidence of sonship. No wonder 1st John 3:10 says 'By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil.'

As you walk through 2021, life will be asking 'who is your dad?'

Happy Sunday.

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 2 January 2021

21 Gun Salute

 


I was thinking this morning.... In all my years on earth, I have never seen a year that everyone wished and prayed will roll by so quickly like 2020. It was so bad that so many Nigerians joined Australians in crossing over into 2021 ten hours ahead of West Africa Time (WAT). E shock you?


But will the knee of 2020 still be on our necks in 2021? According to the Bible, there were 21 acts of rebellion by the Israelites that set them free from Egyptian control. In a similar way, we have resisted the force of Covid to break our resolve and crossing into 2021 is a confirmation that we are free indeed. We must therefore be deliberate in giving God thanks because it is by His mercies that we are not consumed.

Year 2021. Hmm! 21 is the number of shots fired in a peaceful gun salute to signify no hostility. Year 2020 has been like a period of war for mankind with over 1.8 million people dead from Covid-19. However, the unveiling of 2021 signified the end of hostility with 21 gun salute. 21 gun salute is also given to honor royalty and heads of state. Yes, 2020 may have pummelled and buffeted you to the point where you no longer believe in yourself or your God, look up like royalty because this is 2021 (Revelation1:6).

Therefore, in this new year, stand with your head held high and receive 21 gun salute, which in pidgin English will be '21 Gbosa' and in core waffi patois will '21 kpoko.'

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2021!

.....Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.